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wildcat

new Q&A with LaNeve

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Thanks for posting.

Some of your foreign competitors say that Ford and GM seem to spend all their efforts going after each other, while leaving the Japanese free to corner the market.

Ford has followed GM, not the other way around. Chrysler has followed GM. When we do internal benchmarking, we mention Toyota a helluva lot more than Ford.


I might agree that Ford has followed GM, but I think that GM will technically be following Chrysler with the future RWD cars, and they'll be following the Mustang with the Camaro. I'm glad to see they don't benchmark Fords but rather Toyotas.

Does it matter if Toyota surpasses GM as the world's No. 1 car company?

In my mind they already have. They own the high ground imagewise. Japan Inc. has already gone by us. That's an old story. Now we're the underdog. Toyota has become a default brand. If you don't know what to buy, you buy a Toyota.


I see both good and bad in his response. It's good that he realizes that GM is behind Toyota in terms of perception and in some cases product, but I don't think it's good to basically give up and say Toyota has already passed GM.

Our growth will come primarily from Chevy and Saturn. We're not looking to grow volume in every area. Three Buicks might be better than seven. On Buick, Pontiac, Saab, and Saturn, we have some work to do. We've had some brand confusion.


I think he may mean that three good Buicks might be better than seven average ones. I'm guessing Buick will get four or five vehicles.
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And just think: look how well Honda did with three products. Theoretically, by trimming its product line, future Buick vehicles will have a larger budget and sharper focus. Ideally, this plan will allow Buick to redefine itself with a strong core of solid products. GM has enough divisions to cover what product Buick loses. The Rainier is redundant, as the GMC Envoy Denali (offered in some of the same showrooms) covers that market. The next generation Saturn can cover ground for the Terazza, as Saturn will move upmarket. All in all, this is a better move for GM as whole. I may be reading too many DeLorenzo articles, but they really need to cut down on redundant products so the company can better focus on each new vehicle.
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And just think: look how well Honda did with three products.

Theoretically, by trimming its product line, future Buick vehicles will have a larger budget and sharper focus.  Ideally, this plan will allow Buick to redefine itself with a strong core of solid products.

GM has enough divisions to cover what product Buick loses.  The Rainier is redundant, as the GMC Envoy Denali (offered in some of the same showrooms) covers that market.  The next generation Saturn can cover ground for the Terazza, as Saturn will move upmarket.

All in all, this is a better move for GM as whole.  I may be reading too many DeLorenzo articles, but they really need to cut down on redundant products so the company can better focus on each new vehicle.

[post="4044"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Couldn't have said it better myself, though I think Buick could use four or five products.
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I'd like to see more than 3 awesome Buicks. Only having 3 seems weird, something's just not right. The dealers would definately not go for that no matter how great the cars are.
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LaCrosse Lucerne Rendezvous Its sadly possible.
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I thought we had confirmation from our insiders that Buick would be getting a Theta (based on the premium Theta or whatever the BRX is on)? If the Velite ever comes to life and GM gets RWD figured out, we could have 5 or even 6 (if there is a sedan version of the Velite) Buicks.
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I know we will see more Buicks down the line, when the core products have been solidified. I couldn't have put it better than red said, and the idea of profit from solid-selling profitable vehicles that hit the target in the marketplace is exactly where my thinking is coming from. My problem is which 3 products is he talking about. If he is referring to the Lacrosse, Lucerne, and Centieme, then it will be one hell of a fight. The way the Centieme is shaping up, if it's priced similar to the RDV, I could see it doubling on the volume of the RDV, absorbing some of the volume from the sedans as well. The Lucerne and Lacrosse are not the audacious, elegant, proud Buicks they should be though, and they are not fully up to the times. It is yet to be seen how the Lucerne will do, and it should do well enough, however the Lacrosse needs to be seriously replaced, or not considered a part of those three vehicles.
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I look at every Buick (especially the Lucerne) as a "stop gap" model, simply because Lutz has not had enough of his time to adapt his thinking to an all new Buick model. Need proof that Lutz can still pull off a hit? Take a look at the Solstice. That is the very first car that is truly "all Lutz" in its inception. From concept, to prototype to this finished version we have now. This is all entirely Bob Lutz. These Buick vehicles are not. I'd venture to say the only real think Lutz could combat in these vehicles are the materials used in the interior. No design elements, etc. Sure he scrapped the originally LaCrosse due to its lack luster design, however he was unable to substantially redesign the entire vehicle the way he would see fit. He is now paving the way for Buick 2006 and beyond. Should be interesting.
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Thanks for posting.
I might agree that Ford has followed GM, but I think that GM will technically be following Chrysler with the future RWD cars, and they'll be following the Mustang with the Camaro. I'm glad to see they don't benchmark Fords but rather Toyotas.
I see both good and bad in his response. It's good that he realizes that GM is behind Toyota in terms of perception and in some cases product, but I don't think it's good to basically give up and say Toyota has already passed GM.
I think he may mean that three good Buicks might be better than seven average ones. I'm guessing Buick will get four or five vehicles.

[post="3916"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


LaNeve has done his homework. He speaks absolute truth. Toyota has supplanted all other brands as the regular do-it-all brand everyone turns to because their cars are so good for the common man not looking for much more than a comfortable car with an air of elegance that is reliable. That's all he means, and when you've got that power, it's a much greater death knell than sales figures are. Toyotas will for years be America's brand, the brand people will always turn to. How far down that list do you think Chevrolet is? How many people actually go with by choice as opposed to value proposition?
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I look at every Buick (especially the Lucerne) as a "stop gap" model, simply because Lutz has not had enough of his time to adapt his thinking to an all new Buick model.

Need proof that Lutz can still pull off a hit? Take a look at the Solstice. That is the very first car that is truly "all Lutz" in its inception. From concept, to prototype to this finished version we have now. This is all entirely Bob Lutz.

These Buick vehicles are not. I'd venture to say the only real think Lutz could combat in these vehicles are the materials used in the interior. No design elements, etc. Sure he scrapped the originally LaCrosse due to its lack luster design, however he was unable to substantially redesign the entire vehicle the way he would see fit.

He is now paving the way for Buick 2006 and beyond. Should be interesting.

[post="4161"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


Thanks for addressing that concern of mine. I just would like to know what is being done in the future, and how can we influence it. Buicks have got to be dynamic, beautiful, dynamite designs with luxury intentions, they should be a Jaguar and Lexus-intender, no kidding, don't stop short. The Velite had the beauty and the guts within it (RWD and great powertrains) to really elevate the brand. I guess my concern is just that GM has shown us what great potential this brand has in the right hands, and I want to know that the brand will be receiving the right kinds of products. Mainly Velite, and any other beautiful, lifestyle cars, that's what I see Buick of the future as, a statement on your life, you have that excess money that you can spend on a carefree luxurious and special automobile.
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Buick (and Pontiac) will never be a full line brand again, with a version of every body/platform GM sells. Also, having one car with two different names, like Century/Regal is a by gone practice too. Only if by some miracle, GM gets back to 50% market share, will there be "7 unique Buicks" for sale. Edited by Chicagoland
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GM has been too slow to turnaround. The new cars are just "good enough". There are still bean counters at GM's. No six speed auto tranny, no hybrid, so-so interior, high prices. It smells bad, real bad... :angry:
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And not so much bean counters as there are too many at GM who are just there for a paycheck and discounts on new cars.
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GM has been too slow to turnaround. The new cars are just "good enough". There are still bean counters at GM's. No six speed auto tranny, no hybrid, so-so interior, high prices. It smells bad, real bad... :angry:

[post="4640"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


GM'S trun around is just starting to show with the Solstice, up till now everything was a quick band aide since Lutz's arrival.

We have 18 new models coming many that are clean sheet of paper new. Hint the Camaro is not that far off as reported, just watch.

Six speeds are ready at Caddy and even Pontiac and Saturn will see one in 07. Six speeds are for the most part a advetising gimick for engines with no low end power. If you don't believe that drive an Acura as see how when you drive it is like rowing a boat.

As for Hybrid's they are also great on paper but in real life your not saving a dime with present technology. Cost are high, perfoprmance is low and milage is not really that great. Your as well off with VW deisel vs a Toyota hybrid.

Start looking at the interiors, Lutz's interiors are now just hitting. Most anti GM press people have said nothing but good on the Sosltice and HHR.

It takes time and money to change a company. A company the size of GM take a lot more than most so the 5 years since Lutz arrival is just now starting to pay off. The ship is headed in the right direction and the changes in the next 5 years are the ones that will show what Lutz has been working on and done.

Anyone here who thinks change could have happened any faster has no clue what it take to change one car line let alone a whole company. The man hours and Billions of dollars it takes to bring a new line to market are staggering.

Many good things are just starting to happen and they will start happening fast. Will everything be a home run? No! But you will find it is a vast improvment over the last 30 years.
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LaCrosse
Lucerne
Rendezvous

Its sadly possible.

[post="4087"]<{POST_SNAPBACK}>[/post]


God, I hope not... They are reasonable vehicles for sure, but they're far from being what a Buick should be. Stylish cruising vehicles...
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